Literature: Battle Royale
Could you kill your best friend?
What we went through...all those deaths must never lose their importance. We don't have much, but what we have has to work. Never forget...never cheapen their deaths by pushing the memory away. Even the worst of them deserved better.
In the Greater East Asia Republic
(a fascist alternate-timeline Japan), one class of high school students is chosen at random every six months, kidnapped, and placed in an isolated area with no chance of escape. The students are then given one weapon each and, under the threat of death, forced to kill each other until only one student is left alive. This is a once-controversial but now regularly recurring military experiment (since 1947) known only as "the Program". Battle Royale
describes the ordeals and struggles of the 'contestants' in one such class, centering on the attempts of aspiring rock musician and orphaned teenager Shuya Nanahara to escape the Program.
Originally a novel by Koushun Takami, Battle Royale
was adapted into a live-action movie and a Door Stopper
manga series (it has over 3000 pages
). The plots of these adaptations have minor differences, but with the same general events occurring. An American remake
was announced in 2006, but has been stuck in Development Hell
for reasons that should be fairly obvious
One of the main themes of this book/manga/movie is the fear and hatred of the young. Some Japanese government officials completely missed this and blamed Battle Royale
for the sharp rise in teenage delinquency in Japan.
The term has been used to refer to The Hunger Games
— a book series with a similar premise to Battle Royale
— in a derogatory manner by those who feel the later series was a rip off (Suzanne Collins
maintains she knew nothing of Battle Royale
when she wrote her books, and at any rate, there have been works before Battle Royale
which use similar themes - even Stephen King
has written two).
This novel, film and manga provide examples of: